Fokke Jelsma

From BR Bullpen

Fokke Evert Jelsma

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Fokke Jelsma was a member of the Dutch national team. His son Wilfred Jelsma later played in the top Dutch league as well.

Jelsma was named assistant coach for the Dutch junior national team when he was only 20 years old, a role he held for more than 10 years. He debuted in the Hoofdklasse in 1967 when his club the Storks were promoted from the Eerste Klasse. He played for the Dutch national team in the 1968 Haarlem Baseball Week and 1969 European Championship (won by the Netherlands). He appeared in the 1970 Amateur World Series and 1975 European Championship (in which the Netherlands got a Silver Medal).

After playing for the Storks from 1967-1969, Jelsma played for Haarlem Nicols. In 1968, he led the Hoofdklasse with 25 RBI and his 9 homers were second to Hamilton Richardson. In April 1971, he helped found the baseball team in the city of Krommenie, encouraging interest in baseball. He helped Haarlem Nicols win the Hoofdklasse title three times (1970, 1975 and 1976) as well as the 1974 European Cup and 1975 European Cup. In 1974, he hit .359 and led the league in home runs.

Jelsma ended his playing career with Schoten (1977), Kinheim (1978, winning his 4th pennant) and the Cromtigers (1980). He remained active as a baseball coach. Jelsma died of Alzheimers at the relatively young age of 68.

Source: Obituary by Marco Stoovelaar